Nazareno thanksgiving procession ends after just a little over an hour

Anna Cerezo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 31 2021 02:23 AM

MANILA - The Thanksgiving procession of the revered Black Nazarene this year only took a little over an hour to complete. 

The replica of the image left Quiapo Church a few minutes before 9 p.m, Thursday and returned to the gates of Basilica at 10:15 p.m, marking the fastest run to date. 

The year-end procession took the same route as the previous years. But this time, instead of thousands of marching devotees surrounding the replica, motorcycles and cars followed behind the holy image. 

Devotees who do not have cars or motorcycles, on the other hand, waited by the sidewalk of where replica passed.

According to Quiapo Church parochial vicar Fr. Douglas Badong, they scrapped the traditional format as precautionary measure against the spread of the new coronavirus.

As part of crowd control, the priest added they they stationed 1,000 volunteers to help the police enforce the necessary safety protocols such as physical distancing and proper wearing of face masks. According some attendees, they prefer the motorcade over the original procession. 

"Mas okay 'yung naka-motor kasi iwas talaga lalo na ng may pandemic. Dapat talaga umiwas, lalo na may mga bata ona di naman talaga dapat kasama,” Carla Tanaga, a devotee, explained. 

Tenaga had been annually participating in the activities leading up to the feast of the Black Nazarene for 7 years.

“Nagstart ako maging deboto ng nagkasakit anak ko nagkaroon siya ng hika, lagi kami sa nasa ospital parang bahay na namin dati,” she said.
 
"Hiniling ko gumaling anak ko sa Poon tapos nawala lahat ng sakit niya,” she added. 

While she stressed caution should be vehemently practiced when in public as the threat of COVID-19 continued to loom over the nation, she believes her faith will protect her.

"Buong pamilya ko nagka-COVID na, bukod tangi ako hindi nagka-COVID,” she attested.

Meanwhile, Made de los Santos shared she decided to attend the motorcade, despite the threat of the new coronavirus, to keep her promise to God, who she says has granted all her wishes, as a show of gratitude.

“Lahat ng hiniling ko binigay niya, madami sakit ko pinagaling niya. Pati paghingi ko ng lalakinh anak, at pag ayos ng kalusugan ng isa king anak,” she shared. 

This year, like most devotees, de los Santos wished for good health. 

“Bigyan pa ko ng kalakasan sa edad kong ito pwede pa makatulong sa iba at mapatuloy ko pananalig ko,” she admitted. 

This 2021 thanksgiving procession could also be the most orderly. As of this writing no untoward incident has been reported.